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Created in 1970 to encourage Americans to protect the environment, Earth Day has become a global day of action and a nexus for U.S. diplomatic activities centered on climate issues.  The image is a State Department poster made for worldwide distribution.


Is Diplomacy Back? Making the Case to the American People by Mary Thompson-Jones

The Impact of Climate Change on U.S. Foreign Policy and the National Interest by Dr. John Harbeson and Keith P. McCormick

Why the U.S. Should Help Prevent Lebanon’s Collapse by Imad K. Harb

Time to Rethink Development Assistance in the Sahel by Mark Wentling

Locally Employed Staff are the Lifeblood of Cultural Diplomacy by Anne Barbaro

Note to Readers

As we mark the 25th anniversary of the American Diplomacy Journal, we want to take this opportunity to celebrate our locally engaged colleagues and to express our gratitude to them for the work they do at U.S. missions around the world.  Our work abroad would be impossible without their support and guidance, and we owe them a deep debt.  We want to remind our readers of the Foreign Service National (FSN) Emergency Relief Fund, which helps support our colleagues through crises and hardships.  Contributions can be sent to: Gift Fund Coordinator, Department of State, CGFS/EDCS HST Rm 1821, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20520


Military Crackdown in Burma and the Massacres of 8/8/88 by Franklin Huffman

When the KGB Sends its B Team by Jonathan Rickert

Beijing Brushstrokes by Beatrice Camp


Over 30 years ago, the growing hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica caused by man-made chemicals provoked international concern. Negotiations led to the U.S. and the European Community signing the Montreal Protocol, “the most successful global environmental agreement ever done….” 

National Archives

In 1972, two Embassy Moscow staffers drove 900 miles to visit Tbilisi in Georgia and three towns of the North Caucasus region. Their 1972 Chevrolet sedan drew attention everywhere.


A number of the Clinton-era documents on climate change negotiations analyzed by the National Security Archives address diplomatic concerns, including the challenge of engaging China.

A report from the UN Environment Program discusses how climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution can be tackled jointly within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The interim national security strategic guidance issued by the White House in March 2021 prioritizes security, prosperity, and values.

Picks from 25 Years

To mark our 25th anniversary, we spotlight past articles about diplomats, diplomatic practice, and challenges facing the State Department.  With this issue, we add archival articles of interest on policy and the environment.

In Memoriam

Desaix Anderson was the first U.S. Ambassador in Hanoi, where he opened the embassy in August 1995.

Joseph Duffey was the last director of the U.S. Information Agency 1993-1999, before its incorporation into the Department of State.

Charles Hill was a senior adviser to George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, and Ronald Reagan, as well as UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

Larry Palmer served as ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean and earlier to Honduras.